Justice League writer Chris Terrio has offered new insight into how the early roadmap of the DCEU was established. According to Terrio, studio-mandated release dates, not story plans, dictated the release order of these DC movies.
That’s one of the big takeaways in Vanity Fair’s new interview with Terrio, who also scripted Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before effectively being shut out of the DCEU during the Justice League reshoots. According to Terrio, there was little effort to coordinate story plans between movies like Justice League, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, only a mandate to “conform to this schedule.”
“[Kevin] Tsujihara, as far as I can tell, and the brass at the very top, decided the order of the films,” Terrio told VF. “I was not consulted on the order of the films, even though I was the person writing Justice League. They just determined that it was going to be Batman/Superman, and then Wonder Woman, then Justice League, and then Aquaman. So there was never any thought to how the world was constructed before they issued this edict. They said, ‘Conform to this schedule.’”
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Terrio explained how that caused creative headaches while writing Justice League, particularly given the fact that he didn’t have access to a completed Wonder Woman script.
“The Wonder Woman script wasn’t even finished when I wrote Justice League,” Terrio said. “So I had no basis to write Wonder Woman other than Batman/Superman. Themyscira didn’t even exist. I was never shown anything on the page for it. I didn’t know whether people could talk underwater. That was a thing that I had to ask, because I didn’t know if I could do underwater scenes with Aquaman and Atlanteans. It was all just from scratch because there had been no [solo] character films.”
Terrio continued, “So Justice League needed to establish three of the characters; it had to create a long game mythology for the DC Universe. It had to resurrect Superman because he was dead at the end of the last movie. I just don’t know how you could do all that in under two hours. Maybe the 2017 release proved that you couldn’t.”
Terrio’s comments certainly help explain some of the discrepancies between Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Aquaman, including the drastically different appearance of Willem Dafoe’s Vulko and the fact that Amber Heard’s Mera has a British accent in The Snyder Cut.
Terrio also spoke out about his dislike for the original ending of Batman v. Superman, which was abandoned when he was brought in by Ben Affleck to rewrite the script.
This new interview comes right on the heels of another unflattering look behind the scenes at WarnerMedia. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Fisher accused Joss Whedon of threatening Gal Gadot’s career and refusing criticism of his Justice League rewrites.